Researchers have discovered the Brookesia nana or nano-chameleon which is now the smallest reptile on the planet in the rainforests of northern Madagascar.
The male nano chameleon that was documented by the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich measured 14 mm (0.55 inches), small enough to perch on a fingertip.
The female of the species in their collection was documented to be 29mm in length which lead scientists to speculate that the size variance is correlated to the oversized genitalia of the males.
Scientists said more samples need to be collected aside from the two but scientists feared that the nano chameleon’s habitat is already under threat.
“The new chameleon is only known from a degraded montane rainforest in northern Madagascar and might be threatened by extinction,” said the Scientific Reports journal where the discovery was published.
The rainforests where the nano chameleon resides are currently being cut down by locals to make room for agriculture and livestock.
Oliver Hawlitschek, a scientist at the Center of Natural History in Hamburg said that environmental protections were applied to the rainforests where the nano chameleons were found in order for them to survive.
Aside from the protection of its habitat, scientists suggested placing the nano chameleon in the critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species to help protect it further from threats such as poaching.
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